Indicted former State Rep. Derrick Smith may win election - FOX 32 News Chicago

Indicted former State Rep. Derrick Smith may win election

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

You might think being charged with taking a bribe and being booted from office would hurt a candidate's endorsements, but indicted former State Representative Derrick Smith is getting a big boost from former Chicago Alderman Ed Smith, who still wields a lot of power on the West Side.

Derrick Smith ran from our camera just before he was expelled from the legislature last summer and now he's running again for his old job.

Despite federal charges for taking a bribe to steer a state grant to a daycare center, Smith remains on the 10th District ballot as the Democratic candidate. If he wins, it would be a national embarrassment to the state's Democratic party--which is why Democratic leaders slated Chicago lawyer Lance Tyson to run as an independent.

"A vote for my opponent would be a vote for someone who was arrested by the FBI, indicted by the U.S. Attorney, then expelled by the house," Tyson says.

Don't tell that to Ed Smith. The former 28th Ward Alderman, with a stellar reputation for honesty and integrity, is busy campaigning for Derrick Smith; taking him to West Side churches, putting up political signs, and writing an endorsement in the local paper.

Ed Smith wouldn't talk on camera, but told FOX Chicago: "Derrick Smith has not gone to trial. He has not been found guilty by a jury of his peers and I believe in the presumption of innocence."

If you had doubts as to who the former Alderman is supporting, just pay a visit to his West Side home, where you'll find an enormous Derrick Smith sign attached to the wrought iron fence. In fact, it dwarfs the much smaller sign in his yard for President Obama.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, whose political turf includes the 10th District, says he can't understand why anyone would help an indicted candidate.

"I'm baffled by it. I'm surprised by it," says White. "I think the people of this district are sick and tired of individuals who purport to represent them, yet they are busy trying to line their pockets."

"The whole idea of him going back to Springfield would be a wasted vote," says Tyson.

But, with Smith helping Smith, it could happen.

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